5 Things I’ve Learned After a Year of Blogging

This is slightly premature, but let’s go with it: late February marks my one year anniversary here on the blog (blogiversary?). Yessiree, it’s been a whole 12 months since I started this thing…my, how things have changed. What have I learned in the past year? Let’s take a look back…The Books of Jobe, this is your life!

1. I was a naive, ignorant turd to think I was ready to try and publish a book.

That sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. I started the blog because I was finishing up a novella that I was considering either submitting to publishers or self publishing via Amazon. As I delved into the blogosphere I realized a couple of things: There were a lot of other aspiring writers out there with excellent blogs of their own, and I was nowhere near ready to publish anything (although I did submit my novella once before coming to my senses). Reading the blogs of fellow writers showed me how far I really had to go to become a writer of any real quality.

2. I had no idea how far-reaching my blog could be.

As I reviewed my stats, I was not entirely surprised to see people from Canada and the UK popping up. Then I saw India, Australia, and Denmark. Wow, this blogging thing is more popular than I thought. Then came countries like Pakistan, Tanzania, Israel, and Budapest. Really? I’m still floored by how many different countries are listed in my site stats. Granted, a lot of them are just 1 view, but still, I had no clue as to the global reach of WordPress.

3. People are freakin’ creepy.

I had read other bloggers’ stories. I knew the freaks were out there. For anyone reading not familiar with how WordPress works, it will show you how many people were referred to your blog from search engines and, in some cases, what specific search terms they entered. There are true horror stories out there about what types of perverted things people typed into Google to wind up where they did. My cringe-inducing winner? Someone found my blog by searching for the term “daddy watching jailbait daughter masturbate.” All together now—*shudder* As a side note, my site came up on that search because of the post I wrote about creepy song lyrics. NO OTHER REASON.

4. I could apparently have the most popular blog of all time if I devoted more posts to this bug.

Last April, I was at the beginning of the A to Z blogging challenge. I was on the letter B and decided to devote a post to the godforsaken bugs that feast on the seeds of the golden rain tree in our front yard. Aside from the post I wrote that WordPress promoted as Freshly Pressed, that post about bugs is far and away my most viewed post. I mean, seriously—by a mile. It’s not even funny. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t have at least one view on that post or some combination of the words ‘golden rain tree bug’ in the search terms. If I was more ambitious I suppose I I could consider starting another blog devoted to the little bugger, but I’ve got more than enough on my plate as it is.

5. I needed this blog more than I thought.

I started the blog thinking it was basically some sort of publicity tool and nothing more. I didn’t know anyone who had a blog, and although I heard the word all over the place, I associated blogs more with things like Perez Hilton and Gossip Girl. I had no clue what awaited me once I went down the rabbit hole.

Although I haven’t met any of my WordPress friends in person, I wouldn’t hesitate to call a good number of you friends. I’ve friended or been friended by a few of you on Facebook (which, coincidentally, all of you are free to do—don’t worry, I don’t post much), connected on Twitter, even one LinkedIn connection that I still don’t know what to do with. The point is, a year ago none of those relationships existed. And while I assume some of these connections may help me sell some books whenever I’m ready to publish (be it traditional or indie), I see now that’s not the real point. The point is support and encouragement while I work to make my writing better and get myself published, because if any of you out there haven’t heard, writing is hard goddamn work. I honestly don’t know if I could’ve stuck with it if I was still doing it alone.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Unknown

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12 thoughts on “5 Things I’ve Learned After a Year of Blogging

  1. Congratulations on passing your first year!

    Next week marks my first anniversary since joining, and I found it interesting to read some of the very same things I had been thinking about.

    For instance, my most popular post had to do with my first book signing, but I think that most of the attention came from the bands that performed there and their fans. Of course, I’m basing that on the FB fallout over the next couple of days, but it was really interesting to track.

    I’ve enjoyed that my work has been read in nearly every country, even if only at a glance or by just one visitor. Interestingly enough, my writing’s largely enjoyed in the UK? 🙂

    I’ve met some brilliant writers here and I don’t regret making the decision to call WordPress my home for one minute.

    The strangest search term referral for me was; “stories fiction boy kidnapping “his dress”, with the last four words being a bit of a stretch, even for my webseries!

    Amazing how much a year in blogging has to teach!

    Good luck in the days/months/years to come, and keep up the ‘hard goddamn work’! lol

    R.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I just found your blog recently and have been enjoying it. And happy first birthday to your blog as well!

      You had bands at your book signing? That sounds pretty awesome, I like the sound of that. I’ll have to find that post.

      1. Thank you, and glad you are enjoying your visit. I’ll be returning the favor off and on, as time permits, as I find your work very interesting as well. 🙂

        Weeell, by now I think you know that I was actually a part of a 10 year anniversary show, but we won’t mention that too much, eh? lol

        Thanks for checking this out!

        * To add to what you mention in another comment, I wouldn’t mind having another signing in an environment with live music. One tends to meet some very interesting types! *

  2. Happy blogiversary!!! I’ll have to look at my stats when I hit a year in July – some of that sounds hilarious! And some disturbing :p either way, wonderful to be part of this funny blogging world and have my misconceptions corrected as well 🙂

  3. Oh my god, number 3 killed me. I MUST know how I can view the Google search terms. My WordPress stats just say “Google search,” and then expect me to be satisfied with that answer. I, too, want creepy song lyric searches! Not fair.

    1. There should be a box that says Search Engine Terms, that will show them daily if there are any, or you can look at the summaries. A lot of them say unknown anymore, though, I think due to some privacy policy change at google. It’s pretty hilarious to see how people end up on your site.

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